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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

God's Providence


There is no coincidence with God. He provides the most unusual answers to prayer, and to those who may be considered unimportant. Life changing happenings - a way of opening our eyes to our big our God is, not just in our 'world', but in the whole universe.

This is now a part of my history. I now know that no one is ever too old to serve our Lord in some way. As a young girl, I desired to go to the mission field. Always China was uppermost in my mind. China fascinated me. The concept that China was on the other side of the world. (Although, I tried to dig 'through' one summer afternoon in our Oklahoma back yard, I could not reach China.) Then during the latter '30's and early '40's I saw movie newsreels of the plight of the Chinese people. The graphic pictures of the Life magazines depicted the Chinese children. At night, I often dreamed of soldiers, and day-dreamed that our family would grow by adopting a child from every country in the world.

After I retired from teaching school for 31 years, and learned the many ways I could serve God, He brought China to me. It happened one warm fall morning, as we prepared for our Ladies' Bible Study - moving this night to the windowed foyer (not in the hidden classroom). I noticed a slim dark haired lady coming to the door and went to meet her.

"Is this a church?"

"Yes,"

"Could I come in?"

"Of course," I answered. And thus a friendship began with Linda Liu from Shenzhen, China. She came into the building and she moved right into my heart! That first evening I showed her the many groups that were engaged in study and activies. Then we went to the RCC Library. We sat on the floor and I showed her a Bible, and gave one to her. She had never seen one before.

Linda trained as an employee of Walmart, working in the neighboring Bentonville. She had two months left of her three months here. She became a part of the Rogers Christian Church family. She joined us for fellowship dinners, visited with the children, came to Bible Studies, worshiped with us and learned. She enjoyed not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners that day and learned that she loved to eat the turkey leg. She helped to paint the scenery for the Faithful Witness (11 scenes of the Life of Christ for a drive through drama) and portrayed Mary at the tomb.

One Wednesday night our prayers were answered when Linda wanted to accept Jesus as her Lord and complete her obedience to Him through baptism. When I asked how she felt afterward, she said that she had longed for the peace that passes understanding for a long time. Our church family rejoiced with Linda and embraced her.

All too soon, she prepared to return to China. It was extremely difficult to let her go. She had become our sister and our daughter in Jesus. As I said goodbye, she said she would send others to us. We have met many Chinese folks through Linda. Each time we meet someone new from China, we thank God for His providence and for Linda's faithfulness.

What has happened to Linda? She was able to return to United States one time, visited with our Ladies Bible Study, and worshiped with us. We email constantly, or use Messenger or Skype to keep in touch. Linda is married and now has a little boy, Kin Ling. She continues to astound me with her wisdom, her love for Jesus, and unfailing faith. We pray for each other. This friendship (love-ship) is a gift from God!

How often I have sent this message from Apostle Paul to Linda:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6
God's Providence was evident in too many ways....and these are the questions that I ponder:
1. Why did we meet in the foyer, instead of the closed off classroom for our Bible Study that night?
2. Why did the Librarian Ginger tell me there were extra Bibles on the shelf in the library if anyone needed them -- that very morning?
3. Why was I the first one to see Linda that first evening?

How I prayed that God would give me the words He wanted me to say to Linda, and each time I communicated to her. (What a blessing technology is that helps us keep our friendship alive.) When I hear the Sunday Message and prepare the summary for the weekly email I send to my Chinese friends - I think about the message as they will hear it and what it will mean to them.
Everything was created through Him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn't put it out. John 1:3-5 (Message)
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in Poetry 颂诗里的圣诞节


Merry Christmas! Silent Night! Memories of Christmases Past! I can see pictures of the past as they clamor for attention in my mind. My Mother, born on July 4th, 1907, remembered a special Christmas when she received a doll. A special doll with a china head, a special doll from Germany.
圣诞快乐!静籁之夜!过去的圣诞节的回忆!过去的图画不断在我的脑海中回响。 我的母亲生于1907年7月4日,她永远记得她收到一个洋娃娃的那个特别的圣诞节。当Anna Daisy Suderman 12岁的时候,她收到的来自于德国的戴着一个瓷器头的洋娃娃。

I remember seeing the doll in Mom's cedar chest, but there it stayed. It meant a lot to Mom, something she didn't want destroyed. I don't know the doll's name, or how much Mom played with the doll, but for the past eleven years it has its place in my house, standing, watching from its perch on high.
我记得在妈妈的雪松箱子里见到了那个洋娃娃,它一直呆在那里。它对妈妈来说意味着很多,一个她不想毁坏的东西。我不知道洋娃娃的名字,或者妈妈是否经常拿来玩,但在过去的11年历它一直在我的家里有一席之地。

Mom grew up with stars in her eyes and thoughts that began to plague her until she couldn't sleep. I retrieved a folder of Christmas poetry from the full file cabinet. Poetry that she wrote through the years about Christmas, her favorite time of the year. I can see her yet....struggling to find the right word to convey her meanings. I can see how Mom enjoyed taking writing classes, entering endless contests and submitting poem after poem for publication. Just as one of the trees in the Tale of Three Trees wanted to point others to Jesus, Mom purposed to write only for her Lord.
妈妈是怀着幸福的心情长大得,那些令她着迷的思想常使她不能入眠。我从一个装满文件的柜子里找到了一个关于圣诞节诗颂的文件夹。那是她写了多年的关于圣诞节的颂诗,她一年中最喜欢的时候。我仍然记得她,努力寻找恰当的词语来表达她的思想。我记得妈妈是多么享受上写作课,参加无数次的比赛并且递交一篇又一篇的诗去发表。就像三棵树的故事里的一棵树想将其他树指向耶稣一样,妈妈只想歌颂她的主。

The rest of this blog celebrates Christmas through Mom's poetic words:
What does Christmas mean to me? Shiny bows on bright wrapped gifts? Mistletoe and fragrant sniffs? Reindeer on white, snowy drifts?
That is NOT the heart of it! Christmas means a new-born King;

Shepherds hearing angels sing; Wisemen seeking gifts to bring.

Christmas changed the world for us! Christ was born to bring men peace,
Through this gift we find release -- And may His Kingdom never cease.

Christmas means so much to me -- Sing your carols, praise His name,
Low in birth, our Lord became The Risen Lord, whom we acclaim!

Our Christmas Rose
God wrapped His Love in swaddling clothes to hang upon a tree.

We serve Him best when we reflect His love until it grows
Up tall with healthy root and bears good Spirit-fruit,
That honors Christ, our Christmas Rose


Christmas Lives

Christmas lives - Long after every gift is gone.
My Christmas lives because of love and life He gives.
The Christ I celebrate lives on Beyond my sight of glory's dawn

My Christmas lives.


Christmas is --
a time of magic touch when hearts are filled with love that overflows for others reflecting God above.
Christmas is --
a hallowed, holy realm of joyous song and light while heavenly angel choirs still echo through the night.
Christmas is --

God's perfect gift of love when Jesus, stable born,
dawned our redemption star on that Christmas morn.
Christmas is --

a time of understanding when hearts all join to sing
and know the Christmas Child is truly Lord and King.

Christmas Forever

My Christmas is forever, For since I found the Babe
A bright new love has kindled, A fire that will not fade. My Christ is forever.
I still hear, "Glory! Glory!"
His star shines bright as ever In this unending story.
My Christmas is forever,
It's not a day or toy
That soon is lost or broken, But a heartfelt inner joy.
My Christmas is forever,
When Christ becomes a part
Of life that seeks a Savior Who reigns with my heart.
Written Christmas 1997 (age 90), In God's love, Anna Daisy Siemens

Christmas Celebrations
Christmas Celebrations need no padded pews, no decorated altars
Or bright-robed anthem choirs, they need humble hearts, filled with love. Christmas celebrations need no costly toys, electronic gadgets
Or decorated trees, they need a giving hand to share God's love.
Christmas celebrations need an open door, not to lowly stables

But to careless hearts of men, not to a manger babe, but to the Christ of love.


Let us watch.... and hold!
Let us watch the sky of truth for light revealed from God to man

That we, his humble shepherds, may journey to our Bethlehem.

Let us spend our days in study as we search the word,

Not as Pharisees or Herod But as Wisemen seeking truth.

Let us hold to Mary's wonder as we celebrate again this year

Of LOVE God sent to earth to draw the heart of men.
Christmas Love

The essence of Christmas is love -- not our measure of love for God,
But His love for us ....great enough to send Jesus down to this earth
To die for the sins of all mankind -- and with such great love in mind
Of God's glory, peace and good will.
May your Christmas be filled with joy and happiness as you celebrate His Love!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas is Coming

I knew it was the Christmas Season when I looked to find the Peppernut (Pfeffernuesse or Päpanät) Cookie Recipe. It has been a tradition in our family for many years. Mom adapted the recipe (from the many available) until they were just right.

Baking these sweet, crisp Christmas cookies and eating them, transports me back in time to Oklahoma and a small Christmas tree on a Christmas Eve with three young children in their pajamas (sleepers) sitting in a semi-circle. The Christmas lights are reflected in their eyes as the family of five celebrates the birth of Jesus.

After hearing the Luke 2 Christmas story, carol-singing, and prayer, Momma would pull the glass gallon jar from under the tree and say, “Well, we might as well eat the Päpanät Grandma sent while we open the gifts.”

It was a sweet time on a succession of crisp Christmas Eves through the years. Although our children now live in IL, CA, GA and WI, we remember Christmas Eves with them…so much joy in just being together. We always baked peppernuts (calling them
Päpanät [phoenetically - pa-puh-nate]). We played games, we made special treats - we were family. The gifts may not have been plenteous - but always the celebration of the birth of Jesus was shown in our love for one another.

We listened to Luke 2 in the King James version...accepting all it said as the true story of our Savior.

It wasn't often that we could go see our Suderman grandparents, uncles and aunts for Christmas, for Dad carried the mail until late on Christmas Eve. One year we were able to
go. Since I was very young then, I don't remember much except traveling for hours - it seemed like months - huddled in the back seat of the Model A Ford, with a blanket over our laps. We always made an anticipatory event of crossing the state line. Mother would breathe a sigh of relief and enjoyment when she said, "Now....we are in Kansas." I never so much as felt a bump to signify the difference on crossing the state line. The dirt of Oklahoma to Kansas changed from red to dark brown. Of course, on this trip we could not see the color of the dirt, just the color of snow. Part of the way, we traveled in one lane that was open on the highway. I thought my Dad was so brave to steer the car in this world of white, and know where to go.

Finally, as it was getting dark, Mom hollered, "This is where we turn!" Dad turned as soon as he could. There were no tracks on the dirt road -- the snow was as high as the fence posts of the fields. Pretty soon it seemed to me that in this cocoon of snow there was no up and no down, we walled in with white. Dad lost his sense of direction and plowed into the pile of snow on the right side of the road.

We felt the security of knowing that Dad would get us there. "Kids, I need to turn off the motor, so it won't be as warm. Stay covered up with blankets."

In those days there was no CB radio, no cell phone, no way of communication with Grandpa and Grandma Suderman. We could picture the warm farm house and the love that always came when we visited. Just as we thought we might have to spend the night in the car, we heard the chug of the tractor coming down where we imagined the road to be.

The tractor had a flat bed wagon behind. It was Uncle Eli and Uncle Jonas, Mom's brothers. We loaded up on the wagon, and soon were welcomed into the farm house, hugged by many pairs of arms....Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Eli, Uncle Jonas, Aunt Bernice and Aunt Irene. Before we ate the soup from the wood stove and the fresh tvaybach (2 story rolls), prayers of thanksgiving were given. "Welcome, home!" was heard over and over! Stories of the rescue and the drive dominated the conversation until we were sent to bed to dream of a White Christmas.

Even as in the first Christmas story - when the star guided the Wise Men to Baby Jesus, when the angels told of the birth to the shepherds in the field, was a welcome that God orchestrated for His Son.

What kind of welcome will we have when we have traveled our journey in this life and God calls us Home? It will be a joyous time filled with love and beauty that we have never encountered. An unconditional perfect love. And that hope began with God's plan for redemption through Jesus Christ.

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told! Luke 2:1-20 (The Message)

Comments?
For a recipe for Peppernuts, email me.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Invitations To Come! 邀请过来!

I began hearing that word - Come - when I was a little girl. I learned to listen to the tone of voice of my Dad or Mom, before I obeyed the summons. Was it an excited-wait-til-you-see-this tone of voice, or a commanding tone that implied that I slow down my obedience with dread of a scolding or punishment? Now I know that my parents had the same thoughts of wanting to share the 'firsts' with their parents. Grandma Suderman came soon after my birth on a train from Hillsboro KS to Hooker OK, quite a trip in the 1920's to see her first grandchild.
我开始听到‘来’这个单词,是在我小时候。在我学会服从传道之前,我开始学习爸爸或妈妈发声的音调。它是一个令人激动地等待直到你看得到的音调呢,还是命令的带着令人恐惧的责备或惩罚的口气,意味着我的服从不够?现在我知道了我的父母同样想向同他们的父母分享许多的第一次。当我在一辆从 Hillsboro KS到Hooker OK的火车上出生后,我的祖母 Suderman很快来看她的第一个孙儿,这在1920年是一趟很不容易的旅行。

I began using the words, "Come here and see!" Usually it was a self-centered 'come and see' invitation to celebrate what I had accomplished. A somersault, a headstand, a clean room, a program at school, my first effort at baking, success at driving a car, graduation, recitals, a wedding, a new baby always was preceded by a 'come here and see'. Later it was delight and joy in what our children accomplished as they grew up, often accompanied by their own, 'come and watch, Momma!"
我开始使用这句话,“来这里看!” , 通常它是自我中心的‘来看’的邀请来庆祝我刚取得的成就。一个翻筋斗、一个倒立、一次清洁房间、学校的一个节目、我的第一次烘焙食物的努力、成功的开车、毕业、演奏、婚礼、一个新宝宝的诞生等等,常常是跟着“来这里看看”。后来是在我们的孩子们长大过程中取得成就时的高兴和喜悦,常常伴随着他们自己的“来看看,妈妈!”

We receive invitations every day to attend weddings, to go caroling, parties, graduations, office parties, concerts, church meetings of various kinds. Then there is the world of commerce with its beckoning through words, pictures, the guise of helping to come and use some product that will cure snake bites, warts, sprains, zits or a variety of other imperfections or hurts. Then there is the 'come-on' to use our money for various get-rich-quick schemes, insurance for fires, floods, life, long term, health (or the lack thereof), prescriptions, dental, car, house or termites. Oh, I must not forget the education insurance and burial insurance.
我们每天接受各种邀请参加婚礼、唱颂歌、各种小聚会、毕业典礼、办公室聚会、音乐会、各种各样的教堂会议。随之而来的是商业的世界,带着令人动心的语言、图片、帮助人的诱惑,并且使用一些产品,可以治疗蛇咬、疣、扭伤、丘疹或很多其他的不舒服或伤害。再后来是各种各样欲一夕致富的伎俩诱惑我们花钱,如火灾保险、洪水险、寿险、长期险、健康险 (否则就会没有)、处方险、牙险、车险、房险或白蚁险。哦,一定不提教育险和葬险。

So many invitations to 'come'. One of the sweetest invitations I had was from my friend Emma's six year old daughter to come to China and she would show me around. I knew it was one invitation that I could not accept, but it pleased me and warmed my heart.
所以很多邀请来了。我所接到的最甜蜜的邀请之一来自于我的朋友Emma的六岁的女儿,她邀请我到中国并要带我去四周转转。我知道这是一个我不能接受的邀请,但是它使我开心并让我感到温暖。

During our life time we have attended our children's graduations, weddings, new born grandchildren and their graduations and weddings. We attended our parents' 50th's wedding celebrations and their funerals - celebrating their lives, plus the funerals of several of our siblings. A life of celebration of 'come and see's.
在我们的一生中我们参加了我们孩子们的毕业典礼、婚礼、孙儿孙女的出生以及他们的毕业典礼和婚礼。我们参加了我们父母亲的50周年结婚纪念日以及庆祝他们的一生的葬礼,也参加了几个我们同胞兄弟的葬礼。对人的一生的‘来看看’的庆祝仪式。

Last summer an invitation came to witness our granddaughter's wedding in California. Although my dear husband could not go, I flew there on my own. Many invitations we are not able to accept because of distance, time or money. At this time of the year, visits from or with our family is sparse because of the distance. No matter how far away our family is, in four or five different states, they are as near to us as our hearts.
去年夏天我们接到了邀请去见证我们孙女在加州的婚礼。尽管我亲爱的老伴不能一同前往,我自己还是飞去了。由于距离、时间或经济的原因很多邀请我们不能接受。在每年的这个时候,由于距离的原因我们家庭之间的互访比较少。不管我们的家庭距离有多远,在不同的四到五个州,他们同我们心的距离一样近。

When I visited my Aunt Irene, she introduced me to the thought of the many uses of the word - Come - in the Bible. Such a small word, a word you can slide over easily in the scripture...and yet it brings various responses in our hearts and minds.
当我拜访我的婶婶Irene的时候,她向我介绍了在圣经上‘来’这个词的许多用法。如此一个小小的单词,一个你在经文中很容易不经意而带过的单词, 然而它对我们的心灵和思想带来多种多样的反应。

God invites us, through Christ Jesus, to love Him and be His. I checked, the word come, in its various forms is used 1,638 times all the way from Genesis to Revelation. I accepted His invitation to enter my heart and be baptized to complete my obedience 71 years ago. The older I grow, the more dear He becomes in my life.
上帝通过基督耶稣邀请我们爱他并成为他的臣民。我检查后发现,‘来’这个单词,从创世纪到启示录,以各种各样的形式一共出现了1,638次。在71年前我打开了我的心灵,接受了他的邀请并完成顺从的洗礼。随着年龄的增长,他在我的生命中越来越亲切。

How blessed it is to be loved and wanted, to find a lasting friendship in Jesus. A friendship that is deeper than any other. It is Spirit-Deep. And I find this friendship invitation in the following verses.
能被爱和被想念,在耶稣里找到永存的友谊是多么的福分啊!一种比其他任何东西更加深沉的友谊。它在心灵深处。我在下面的诗篇中找到这种友谊的邀请。
Come, children, listen closely; I'll give you a lesson in God worship. Psalm 34:11
众弟子啊,仔细聆听,我将教你们敬拜神。诗篇34:11

All believers, come here and listen, let me tell you what God did for me. I called out to him with my mouth, my tongue shaped the sounds of music. If I had been cozy with evil, the Lord would never have listened. But he most surely did listen, he came on the double when he heard my prayer. Blessed be God: he didn't turn a deaf ear, he stayed with me, loyal in his love. Psalm 66:16:20
所有信神的人,来这里听吧,让我告诉你上帝为我所行之事。我用口求告他,我用舌头发出音乐之音。若我同邪恶为伍,主必不听。但神确实听到了,他听到了我的祷告并加倍给予我。称颂神,他没有不听,他同我一道,对我慈爱。诗篇66:16:20


There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live. John 14:2-4
在我父的家里有许多住处。若是没有,我也早已告诉你们了。我若去为你们预备了地方,就必会来接你们到我那里去。约翰福音14:2-4

"Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you." Revelations 3:20
看啊,我站在门外敲门。若有听见我的声音就开门的,我会立刻近来同你们坐席。启示录3:20

"Come!" say the Spirit and the Bride. Whoever hears, echo, "Come!" Is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will, come and drink, Drink freely of the Water of Life! He who testifies to all these things says it again: "I'm on my way! I'll be there soon!" Yes! Come, Master Jesus! Revelations 22:17, 20
圣灵和新妇都说‘来’。听到的人都应说,‘来!’。口渴的人也当来。所有愿意的,都当来随意饮取生命之水。证明这一切的人又说‘我在路上,快来了!’主耶稣啊,来吧!启示录22:17,20。

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What is in a Quilt? 被子里是什么?

Now this blog includes a Mandarin Chinese Translation, thanks to my friend in China - Lisa! Thank you, Lisa, for your work, and thank you more for your friendship, worth more than fine gold!

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." (John 14:1-7 - The Message)
你们心里不要忧愁。你们信神,也当信我。在我父的家里有许多住处,若是没有,我就早已告诉你们了。我去原是为你们预备地方去。我若去为你们预备了地方,就必再来接你们到我那里去。我去那里,叫你们也去那里。我往哪里去,你们知道;那条路,你们也知道。托马斯对他说:“主啊,我们不知道你往哪里去,怎么知道那条路呢?”耶稣说“我就是道路、真理、生命,若不籍着我,没有人能到父那里去。你们若认识我,也就认识我的父。从今以后,你们认识他,并且已经看到他。” (约翰福音14:1-7)

It was a day that caused the teeth to chatter, as a family met to celebrate the life of a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister-in-law, an aunt. Inside Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethern Church in central Kansas, the family was surrounded by church family and friends. After the rich harmony of the trio, Scripture read by a grandson, two hymns led by the son, and a sketch of Edna Koop Suderman's life, read by a granddaughter, Gaylord Goertzen took his place at the podium.
这是一个令人不语不休的一天,因为一个家庭聚在一起庆祝一位妻子,一位母亲,一位祖母,一位嫂子,还有一位婶婶的一生。在Kansas中心的Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethern 教堂里,这个家庭的四周环绕着教堂的大家庭成员们和朋友们。在优美和谐的三重唱后,由一名孙子读经文,儿子领唱两首赞美诗,孙女则宣读介绍Edna Koop Suderman 生平的文稿,Gaylord Goertzen 则坐在指挥台上。

Beside him hung a quilt with various colors, patterns and many stitches. As Gaylord spoke, he told of quilt and how it came to be made and how it resembled the life of Edna Koop Suderman. For God chose colors from the vast array of colors he created in creation. He chose the green from the lush greenery that graced the earth. He chose the rich maroon of autumn leaves. He chose the rainbow colors reflected in his flowers for His purposes. He chose a few dark colors that contrasted with the bright colors and made them more brilliant. Then He set the pattern and laid out the pieces. He chose how those pieces would form the pattern.
在他的旁边挂着一床色彩鲜艳、带图案和许多针线缝合的被子。在Gaylord讲话时,他讲了有关被子以及其如何缝制而成,以及它由如何象征了Ena Koop Suderman 的一生。因为上帝从他创造宇宙的丰富颜色中选择颜色。他从装点地球的富饶的草木中选择绿色;他从秋天的叶子中选择栗色;他为了他的目的从他的花所折射的颜色中选择了彩虹之色。然后他设计图案并采集布片。他选择能形成所设计的图案的布片。

We must not forget the stitches that held the myriad of patterns and colors together. A stitch a day holds the quilt together. And that stitch must be consistently straight and tiny, one that outlines the patterns in the quilt. It takes nimble fingers and a clear eye and a strong will to finish the stitches. This is what Edna Suderman did, not just with the many quilts made in her lifetime, but with the quilt of her life.
我们不能忘记那数不清的缝线,使得无数种图案和颜色组合在一起。一天一针能缝一条被子。并且这种缝合必须始终如一的笔直和细微,才能勾勒出被子上的图案。只有敏捷的手指、明亮的眼睛和坚强的意志才能完成如此多的缝针。这正是Edna Suderman所做的,不是她的一生中的许多床被子,而是她的生命的被子。

God steadied her hand as she continued stitching her life. He listened to her prayers and created someone with compassion day by day, stitch by stitch. When the color suddenly turned black when her baby Larry died, it contrasted with the beauty and gift of another child within a year. When God saw that the quilt had been finished, He called Edna home. There will be a reunion when God sees that our individual quilts are finished.
在她的一生的持续的缝合中,上帝坚定了她的手。他听到了她的祈祷,并在这一天一天和一针又一针中带着爱心创造了后代。当颜色突然转黑,当她的宝宝Larry 不幸去世时,她又得到了漂亮的小礼物她的第二个宝宝。当上帝看到被子终于完成时,他呼唤她回家了。当上帝看到我们每个人的被子织成时,将是我们再一次相会的时候。

While thinking of the quilt analogy, it suddenly occurred to me that God creates a pattern and the colors of each church family. We see the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in the lives of each - and in doing so we contribute our own stitches to the corporate quilt of each church family.
从被子推想开来,我忽然想到,上帝为每一个教堂的家庭创造了一种图案和多种颜色。我们看到每个人生命中的精神的果实 - 并且在这样做的同时我们将我们自己的缝针奉献给了每一个教堂家庭织成的共同的被子。

But let's broaden our vision to the world-wide quilt in this generation, or beyond. When something goes awry in our lives, we tend to comfort ourselves by saying, "God is in control". Indeed, He is. Do we see the intricacies of the design of the world quilt through the ages? No matter where we find ourselves, do we see His love? Do we follow His lead? Do we add dark colors of rebellion to the quilt? Do we stray from His Pattern? What is a Quilt? It provides comfort, love, security and memories. It conveys the story of people. How do we contribute to His quilt?
但是请让我们拓宽我们的视野,想到我们这个时代的世界之被,或者更远。在我们的生活中当某些事情出现错误时,我们倾向于安慰我们自己,“一切在上帝的控制之中”。确实,他是的。我们看到经过几个世纪的世界之被的设计的错综复杂吗?不管我们在哪里找到了我们自己,我们看到了他的爱吗?我们跟随了他的领导吗?我们将反叛的深色加到了被子中吗?我们偏离了他的图案吗?被子是什么?它提供了舒适、爱、安全和记忆。它传递着人们的故事。我们对他的被子能贡献什么?

It is our place to stand fast in Him and to follow where He leads through fields of flowers, valleys dark with sorrow as well as the mundane everyday-ness of life. God walks beside us as we look to Him!
我们的位置是与他坚定的站在一起,跟随他的指引,穿过鲜花的田野,穿越带着悲伤的黑暗的峡谷,以及穿越世俗的平淡无奇的生命。当我们向他走去时上帝走在我们身旁。
The good life begins in the fear of God— Do that and you'll know the blessing of God. His Hallelujah lasts forever! Psalm 111:10
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